Alice Miller Quotes
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The victimization of children is nowhere forbidden; what is forbidden is to write about it.
The more we idealize the past and refuse to acknowledge our childhood sufferings, the more we pass them on unconsciously to the next generation.
What is addiction, really? It is a sign, a signal, a symptom of distress. It is a language that tells us about a plight that must be understood.
Wherever I look, I see signs of the commandment to honor one's parents and nowhere of a commandment that calls for the respect of a child.
For the human soul is virtually indestructible, and its ability to rise from the ashes remains as long as the body draws breath.
The reason why parents mistreat their children has less to do with character and temperament than with the fact that they were mistreated themselves and were not permitted to defend themselves.
Disrespect is the weapon of the weak
All children are born to grow, to develop, to live, to love, and to articulate their needs and feelings for their self-protection
Genuine feelings cannot be produced, nor can they be eradicated. We can only repress them, delude ourselves, and deceive our bodies. The body sticks to the facts.
We don't yet know, above all, what the world might be like if children were to grow up without being subjected to humiliation, if parents would respect them and take them seriously as people.
An unacknowledged trauma is like a wound that never heals over and may start to bleed again at any time.
That probably greatest of narcissistic wounds -- not to have been loved just as one truly was -- cannot heal without the work of mourning.
Society chooses to disregard the mistreatment of children, judging it to be altogether normal because it is so commonplace.
The abused children are alone with their suffering, not only within the family, but also within themselves. They cannot crate a place in their own soul where they could cry their beart out.
Contempt is the weapon of the weak and a defense against one's own despised and unwanted feelings.
Genuine forgiveness does not deny anger but faces it head-on.
Courage can be just as infectious as fear.
The true opposite of depression is not gaiety or absence of pain, but vitality: the freedom to experience spontaneous feelings.
The commandment to refrain from placing blame on our parents, deeply imprinted in us by our upbringing, skillfully performs the function of hiding essential truths from us.
If it's very painful for you to criticize your friends - you're safe in doing it. But if you take the slightest pleasure in it, that's the time to hold your tongue.
We can never do the right thing as long as we are out to please someone else.
Clinging uncritically to traditional ideas and beliefs often serves to obscure or deny real facts of our life history.
If a mother respects both herself and her child from his very first day onward, she will never need to teach him respect for others.
Depression leads him close to his wounds, but only the mourning for what he has missed, missed at the crucial time, can lead to real healing.
We produce destructive people by the way we are treating them in childhood.
One of the best ways of keeping your temper in an argument, as most of us know only too well, is not to listen to anything the other person has to say.
Empathy grows as we learn.
The father receives his power from God (and from his own father). The teacher finds the soil already prepared for obedience, and the political leader has only to harvest what has been sown.
One can only remember what has been consciously experienced.
It is possible to resolve childhood repression safely and without confusion - something that has always been disputed by the most respected schools of thought.
Genuine feelings are never the product of conscious effort. They are quite simply there, and they are there for a very good reason, even if that reason is not always apparent.
Emotional access to the truth is the indispensable precondition of healing.
The child has a primary need to be regarded and respected as the person he really is at any given time, and as the center - the central actor - in his own activity.
Problems cannot be solved with words, but only through experience.
Parents are indeed capable of routinely torturing their children without anyone interceding.
Don't ever dare to take your college as a matter of course - because, like democracy and freedom, many people you'll never know have broken their hearts to get it for you.
Today I should not be identified with any kind of regressive therapy.
There are people who have benefited from therapy without being confronted with the past at all.
You gotta keep that in check - you got to.
Not to take one's own suffering seriously, to make light of it or even to laugh at it, is considered good manners in our culture.
A human being born into a cold, indifferent world will regard his situation as the only possible one.
Cruelty is the opposite of love, and its traumatic effect, far from being reduced, is actually reinforced if it is presented as a sign of love.
Experience has taught us that we have only one enduring weapon in our struggle against mental illness: the emotional discovery of our truth about the unique history of our childhood.
All children are born to grow, to develop, to live, to love, and to articulate their needs and feelings for their self-protection.
The more we idealized the past, however, and refuse to acknowledge or childhood sufferings, the more we pass them on unconsciously to the next generation.
True autonomy is preceded by the experience of being dependent. True liberation can be found only beyond the deep ambivalence of infantile dependence.